Terry Morrow: Dolly Parton to go on blind date for charity

Dolly Parton

©2011 Alcon Film Fund, LLC

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton is about to go on a mystery date — but it'll cost her charity-hearted suitor $138,000.

A mystery fan won an evening with Parton through an auction bid at a charity event in Sevierville this past weekend.

Proceeds from the record-breaking bid goes to not-for-profit Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation.

Parton and her date will go on a tour of her Nashville properties, tour bus and her favorite Nashville places. They'll also be treated to a catered dinner and breakfast.

The bidder and six guests will stay in Parton's high-rise hideaway in downtown Nashville, sources say.

"I haven't been on a blind date since high school," Parton is quoted as saying. "I'm truly delighted beyond belief.

"To think someone dug that deep to help the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation just humbles me. That $138,000 is going to do so much good in Sevier County. This anonymous bidder won my heart because the foundation is so special to me."

According to the head of the foundation, Deborah Dowling, "Dolly and her anonymous bidder made for a very memorable night at Saturday's Evening of Elegance event. The excitement in the room was palpable as we listened to the bids reach this record-breaking milestone, and the added element of an anonymous bidder made it all the more spectacular."

Earlier this week, a Dollywood spokesperson said he didn't know the identity of the bidder and was not sure if Parton knew who it is. But, apparently, the accessible country music icon is undaunted by the idea of going on the date.

Parton is the honorary chairperson of the foundation, named after the minister doctor who delivered her. The organization supports the medical needs of Sevier County residents, including the county's LeConte Medical Center that opened in 2010.

The bid follows Parton's 2009 and 2010 barbecue parties that raised $5,000 and $90,000, respectively, the foundation reported.

Parton raised $500,000 from a hometown concert in 2008, the foundation said.

Collectively, Parton's auction contributions to the foundation have exceeded $1 million in the past five years, the group said.

The Dr. Thomas Foundation started in 1983.

Sign up. Adventure Con 2012, the pop culture show set for October in Knoxville, is packing its celebrity lineup solid. Among the latest is the announcement that a star from one of ABC Family's hottest shows will appear.

Lea Thompson, who plays Kathryn Kennish on "Switched at Birth," has been added to the guest list, organizers say. Thompson is perhaps best known as Lorraine from the "Back to the Future" trilogy.

She also appeared in films such as "Jaws 3-D," "Red Dawn," "Howard the Duck," "SpaceCamp" and "The Beverly Hillbillies."

Her extensive TV career credits include starring on the NBC's 1990s series "Caroline in the City."

For more information on Adventure Con, go to adventurecon.com.

New gig. Farragut native Jake Thomas has booked a new primetime network gig.

He'll be a guest star on "NCIS" this fall. No word on exactly who he plays, but he is being billed as "the top guest star."

Thomas will shoot the episode starting today in the Los Angeles area.

The popular CBS crime drama returns with new episodes in September.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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Comments » 1

rainbow6 writes:

What a joy this lady is.
She never misses an opportunity to give back to Sevier County and to Tennessee.

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